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Bones of the Lost: A Temperance Brennan Novel Hardcover – August 27, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Reichs draws on her experiences touring with the USO in Afghanistan for her captivating 16th novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (after 2012's Bones Are Forever). At home in Charlotte, N.C., the bone expert concludes that the death of an unidentified girl, 14 or 15 years old, was caused by foul play rather than a hit-and-run, as was previously suspected. The outraged Brennan urges homicide detective Erskine Skinny Slidell to investigate, knowing Slidell believes the girl to have been an undocumented immigrant, as well as possibly being a junkie and prostitute. Later in Afghanistan, Brennan oversees the exhumation of two unarmed Afghan villagers killed by a U.S. Marine to determine whether the victims were shot in the back or head-on. The two cases—and a third involving mummified dogs from Peru—give Reichs ample opportunity to provide detailed descriptions of forensic examinations, but it's Brennan's passionate and personal involvement that provides the excitement in this masterful tale. 6-city author tour. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, William Morris Endeavor. (Aug.)
As usual, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is juggling several cases, including some mummified dog remains that could lead to a human-trafficking ring and a murdered teenage girl who was, mysteriously, carrying the ID of a prominent businessman who died five months earlier. She’s also juggling some personal issues: her daughter, grieving over the death of her boyfriend, has enlisted in the army, and Pete, the girl’s father, is pressing Tempe to sign their divorce papers. After the rather lethargic Bones Are Forever (2012), this is a return to form for Reichs, who keeps the story moving at a brisk clip but never forgets that, ultimately, we’re here to see Dr. Brennan, and she needs to slow down frequently enough for us to spend some quality time with Tempe. This is one of those megasuccessful, long-running series that has undergone distinct ups and downs over the years. Series devotees, of whom there are many, will be well pleased to ride this upward trend. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: There’s nothing like a hit TV show to help promote your new book, and there will be plenty of back-and-forthing going on between Reichs’ latest and Bones, the popular Fox series. --David Pitt
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the ways the story lines tie together seem contrived to me; everyone she meets ends up being somehow involved in the denouement of the story, sometimes in ways that defy credulity. There is less of the forensic writing that made me a fan in previous books in this story, and a long middle part involving a trip to Afghanistan which doesn't really fit but gives her an excuse to see her daughter, Katy, in the middle of a war zone. Every time Tempe is conversing with someone - Ryan/Pete/Katy - who actually means something to her, she becomes uncharacteristically unable to communicate about anything important. For her being such an educated woman who has no trouble speaking her mind, this is getting tiresome. No wonder she has only Birdie the cat to keep her warm at night.
If you love Kathy Reichs, then read this book. If you are starting out with Kathy Reichs, read one of her earlier books to see what the buzz is all about. Like the others have said, at least Tempe didn't get kidnapped at the end of this book or held in a dark pit somewhere - but I was expecting it to happen until the very last few pages.
Kathy Reichs is a masterful storyteller. Most (if not all) of her novels are inspired at least in part by real cases she has encountered working as a forensic anthropologist in Montreal and North Carolina. The level of scientific detail she provides is fantastic and she includes simple to understand explanations for those who aren't scientists by trade. I love her writing style and the nice blend of witty dialogue, mystery, and romance.
I love Kathy Reichs' writing style and the humor that so subtly slips in to her work. But I haven't read anything of her's in a while (sometimes I forget even my favorite authors - it is usually wonderful to rediscover them) and perhaps that was a good thing. I will go back to some of her earlier books that I have't read and see if they appeal to me.
HOWEVER, seldom have I read a book that is so contrived to pull together astonishing and unrealistic coincidences. It seems it can hardly be called a mystery when the plot is so strained. It is rather like a jigsaw puzzle where you force pieces to fit.
I wish I had something better to say, but my disappointment won't allow it.